Fat. Can you consume too much fat while eating Paleo?

by (15) Updated May 11, 2011 at 1:59 PM Created May 11, 2011 at 4:37 AM

Since starting the paleo lifestyle, I have been consuming a lot of beef and pork. I lift weights 3 times a week, and I hike 2 twice a week. I feel that the fat helps meet my energy requirements. At first, I was concerned that 50% or more of my calories coming from fat may me overkill. On the other hand, Inuit tribes have a diet of 70% plus of fat and aren’t plagued by heart disease. I was wondering if any experienced/ informed paleo people could shed some light on the issue. Is there an appropriate ratio for animal to plant consumption?

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6 Replies

15831 · May 11, 2011 at 1:51 PM

Its possible to overeat too much OF ANYTHING. Each macronutrient - protein, carb, fat - are simply tools that you can use depending on your goal.

For me, after the first six months or so of purposefully consuming large amounts of fat and then tapering that extraordinary intake down bit by bit, I've found that I get enough fat in my eating just by consuming the fat that is intrinsically in the meat I eat, and the cooking medium like coconut oil, etc. I have no need for eating butter sticks, extra coconut all the time, etc.

Fat is good, tasty, health-promoting. I believe that entirely. I simply don't think we have to really go out of our way to get in that that much. Surely you can if you wish, but for performance I don't feel you must.

Going on a bit of a tangent, I'd say that a lot of the fat-love in the paleo community now is perhaps a lot of rebellion agaist tne conventional wisdom - we' ve all been raised to fear it and so now we must unduly love it. Its not black and white. Fat is just another food group, macro, whatever you wanna call it. Use it as the tool it is.

9983 · May 11, 2011 at 5:31 AM

I eat less than 5% carbs, 10-15% protein, 75-80% fat...mostly from coconut oil and olive oil. Two meals a day...breakfast and dinner...no snacks in between. No dairy anymore, a few macademia nuts but no others.

Am in ketosis most of the time and have not felt any better..ever...that is from a 68yo.

2402 · May 11, 2011 at 9:42 AM


Which fat ? How many calories ? What is your typical daily menu ? It's all about the context someone might say, hehe.

Good threads: http://paleohacks.com/questions/30514/frustrated-about-different-paleo-information-how-much-fat#axzz1LwuY09qk


And welcome ! Both of you.

3512 · May 11, 2011 at 1:47 PM

I don't know if you could consume too much fat eating Paleo. I think it all depends on your goals. Are you looking to lose weight? To gain? I am personally trying to gain weight so I am eating close to 1/4 a pound of tallow a day, plus added coconut fat from coconut milk and oil. My average fat intake is close to 330 grams.

15261 · May 11, 2011 at 1:59 PM

One thing about the Paleo diet which is useful and powerful and also against the conventional wisdom is that eating fat is ok, in fact eating a large % of your calories in fat is ok. You can read up on the science and justification for this on blogs such as Mark's Daily Apple and the book "Nourishing Traditions" and other information from the Weston Price Foundation and Sally Fallon.

I personally think that a low fat diet is very hard to eat and is bad for me, I would be constantly hungry and would tend to overeat. I also think that saturated fat and cholesterol are actually good for you and nourish and protect your body rather than damaging it as we have been taught. This I think is the primary explanation for the "French paradox" -- the fact that the French eat a lot of saturated fat yet and drink and smoke a lot yet remain healthier than people who suffer with foods whose fat have been artificially stripped out.

This doesn't mean that you can't over do it. If you are trying to lose weight on Paleo and indiscriminately eat fat and oil by the cup, you're not going to lose weight. You might improve your insulin response and energy level, but you might also gain weight.

Some folks here talk about eating 2 pounds of meat a day including cream and coconut oil smoothies and that kind of thing, but they don't always say if they are losing/gaining weight or if they're trying to. Some people eat Paleo to lose weight, some to gain weight, some to address medical situations, and some to just feel better. I think it is misleading for someone who is trying to lose weight to read someone's blog entry about eating 3000 calories a day and think that is good for them, when the two people have totally different diet/fitness goals yet are both eating Paleo.

275 · May 11, 2011 at 5:43 AM

In my eyes you can. I would advice to stick with paleo basics: lean, grass fed meats and all the veggies and fruits you like...no milk products, no grains, no sugar and no processed food...good luck!

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